// US investors’ 25% stake in Topshop sold last week revealed to be priced at just 75p
// Arcadia now focusing on restructuring options
Reports have emerged that Leonard Green & Partners sold its quarter share in Topshop and Topman back to Arcadia for $1, or 76p.
The US private equity firm bought the 25 per cent stake from Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia in 2012 for a rumoured £350 million.
It’s thought Leonard Green wrote down the value of its stake in Topshop to zero some time ago, although it said it “remained supportive” of Topshop and reserved the “opportunity” to buy back its stake in the future.
“The transfer simplifies the shareholding structure of Topshop/Topman and enables the Arcadia board to focus on the restructuring options being considered,” Leonard Green said last week, before the 76p/$1 figure was made public.
The deal comes amid increased speculation that Arcadia is preparing a restructuring scheme and could launch it this month, which could entail dozens of store closures and hundreds of job cuts.
Arcadia has been struggling with dwindling sales alongside an extensive and unprofitable property portfolio.
Two restructuring specialists have been appointed to the board of Sir Philip Green’s retail empire amid increasing speculation that the firm is poised to launch a CVA.
Jamie Drummond-Smith has been made chair of Topshop, Topman, Arcadia Group and its parent company Taveta, while Peter Bloxham is joining the board as a director.
A CVA would need approval from Arcadia’s creditors – including landlords and the Pension Protection Fund.
Therefore a proposal could plunge Green into a fresh pensions row, two years after he was forced to plug up to £363 million to the pension scheme of thousands of former BHS workers following months of discussions and controversy.